The Fatah-Revolutionary Council (F-RC) was established by Sabri al-Banna with the
cooperation of Iraqi authorities and produced the magazine Filastin al-Thawra. At first, it maintained links
with PLO intelligence apparatus from pre-Black September Jordan, including Samih Abu Kuwayk and Naji ‘Allush, and even
possibly covert links with Abu Iyad. But tensions escalated with the PLO: ‘Allush was briefly detained in August of
1974; F-RC associate, Muhammed ‘Abd al-Ghafur, killed in Beirut on ‘Arafat's orders, on September 12, 1974. F-RC
attempted to assassinate Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), but operatives were captured and Abu Nidal was sentenced to death on
Its most famous acts have been the assassination of Israeli ambassador Shlomo Argov
(London, 1982) (this was the excuse for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon) assassinations of Said Hamami and ‘Izz al-Din
Qalaq (1978), Naim Khudr (1981), ‘Isam Sartawi (1983), and Abu Iyad (1991). Moved closer to Libya from late 70s, and
seen to be acting on behalf of them: eg assassination of Yusuf al-Siba‘i, editor of al-Ahram (Cyprus, 1978),
hijacking of Egyptian plane to Malta in 1985.
In 1989, various leaders (including Atif Abu Bakr, chief spokesman) moved to Sudan with
150 members, denouncing Libya. From 1992, Libya enforced inactivity. The group unsuccessfully tried to gain control of
Sidon refugee camp in the early 90s; and was involved in the assassination of the First Secretary of the Jordanian
embassy in Lebanon in 1994, leading to vigorous attempts by the Lebanese army to destroy its remaining infrastructure;
Jordan convicted (in absentia) Abu Nidal and four others to death for this on December 3, 2001. Abu Nidal died in
mysterious circumstances in Iraq under the Saddam regime.
Present leaders including ‘Ali al-Farra ("Dr Kamal") are in charge of espionage. They
are now thought to be working on behalf of Egyptian intelligence, including assassination of Shaykh Salah ‘Abd al-Mutalib
(imam in Yemen, leader of Egyptian Jihad). Some former members have now been allowed by Israel to live in the
West Bank and Gaza.
Synonyms and alternate spellings: